ST. ALBANS — Voters at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting will consider borrowing up to $910,000 to pave several roads and decide whether to make the town clerk an appointed position, rather than an elected one.

The meeting will be 9 a.m. at the town hall. Elections will be held 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, also at the town hall. In elections, former Selectman Peter Denbow and Eric Moulton, who directs the Junior ROTC program at Nokomis Regional High School, will vie for a selectman’s seat being vacated by Tom Short, who chose not to seek re-election. The term is for three years.

On Saturday, voters will consider article 32, which asks if they will agree to borrow up to $910,000 to pave seven roads — Melody Lane and Denbow, Mountain, Nelson, Pond, Ripley and Square roads, according to Town Manager Rhonda Stark.

“They’re all roads that are currently paved; we’re just seeking to get them redone,” Stark said Monday.

The town has a schedule for road repairs, and this is the year those particular roads are slated to be repaved, she said.

If voters approve all 45 warrant articles, they will approve a proposed $1.25 million budget that represents a 1.25 percent, or a $114,000, increase over the current year’s budget, according to Stark. Of that $114,000, officials are asking that $75,000 come from surplus, she said.

She said she did not know exactly how much the current tax rate of $16.45 per $1,000 worth of valuation would increase if all articles pass Saturday, as not all the figures are in, including school costs.

The proposed increases in the budget are reflected in the town’s plan to put $100,000 this year into the fire hall reserve account for the future construction of a new fire hall. Last year, the town put $50,000 into that account; $25,000 to buy a used highway truck; and $30,000 to increase salaries for five full-time and three part-time town employees and increase the firefighter stipend fund.

Stark said $50,000 of the $100,000 for the fire hall account and $25,000 for the highway truck would come from the town’s surplus account. She said a survey revealed the town’s employees are being paid less money than those in area towns, and that is the reason for the proposed salary increase.

Article 11 asks voters if they will change the town clerk’s position from an elected to an appointed one. Selectmen recommended the change be made. With the change, to be effective in 2020, the manager would appoint the clerk.

Stark cited several reasons for making it an appointed position, including that if a person is elected and decides the job is not what he or she wants, the town must wait another year to fill the position. This will have been the third time in 10 years that the request has been on the town meeting warrant.

In uncontested races Friday, Elizabeth Gagnon is running for town clerk; Stephen Emery, road commissioner; and Eleanor Davids, Joseph Madigan and Shelda Madigan are running for three seats on the budget committee.

 

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]
Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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